Célestin, the founder of Atelier Tuffery, was already keen to source his materials locally . In line with these values, we still work daily on researching and developing supply chains using natural fibres produced in France.
Historically, hemp is a fibre which has long been cultivated in the Cévennes mountains and across the region more generally. In partnership with VirgoCoop & HempAct, we are currently working on the reintegration of this supply chain . Shareholders in this cooperative society, active in environmentally and socially responsible projects, we are participating in the redeployment of a crop which requires no irrigation nor chemical inputs or pesticides. Each year, we reinvest part of the result of our sales in order to continue to contribute to the renewal of the textile hemp sector in France. While waiting to be able to use 100% local hemp in our clothing, we also integrate European hemp.
Wool is a fibre that grows continuously in our area. Shepherds have never stopped shearing their ewes because it contributes to their
well-being and health
. Our local sheep are the Lacaune breed, better known for their milk than their wool, which was often neglected, thrown away or exported. We have therefore chosen to
work on increasing the use of this local fibre
Today, wool collected by the shepherds in the Cévennes National Park is sorted at the shearing sites and earns producers 5 times more than the average price per kg in France. It is an ultra-local sector , where shearing, sorting, washing, spinning, weaving and cloth manufacture all take place in the Occitanie region.
In textile manufacturing, it is still difficult to completely free yourself from cotton. The origin of the cotton present in our fabrics is 90% Spanish and Greek. It is
the rarest cotton, but the closest we can source.
We audit our suppliers every year to request certificates of origin, which are then communicated to French customs.
For several years, we have been working to
reduce plastic fibres in our clothing
as these plastics are responsible for marine pollution. Plastic microparticles are released in the thousands of tonnes by household washing machines and end up in our wastewater. This pollution cannot be filtered through our sanitation networks, which means they are directly released into our rivers, streams and, ultimately, oceans and seas.
This also ties in with our research to design clothing made from natural fibres , such as hemp and wool.
The only plastic present in our clothes concerns a minimal proportion of elastane in some of our jeans, as it helps to provide the right tailored look.
We are constantly seeking to continue our reduction in water consumption by choosing fabrics that are part of our suppliers’ strictest environmental programmes, such as ‘less water impact’ . In collaboration with Tissages Mouline Thillot in particular, we are developing new fabrics which require little water treatment. We are rolling out our range of hemp clothing and are strengthening communication with our customers so that they favour clothing in raw fabrics.
Our approach to production has always been to work on demand, just in time . As a manufacturing brand that has its own workshop and a very close network of sub-contractors, we never produce stock in advance that will not be sold. Therefore, we never have overstock to get rid of, there are no cut-price sales and no waste . The only waste we have are products with manufacturing defects (less than 1% of overall production) that we offer to our best customers. The same goes for our raw materials, we order directly, just in time and with a continuous flow of only the material we need.
Lighting, heating, insulation, everything has been designed for maximum energy savings .
Only companies active in the local catchment area have worked on the construction of our premises.
As with our clothes, our choice of materials has been steered towards what is available locally with little ecological impact : Cévennes wood for partitioning and wood fibre for thermal insulation.
With the revival of Atelier Tuffery, it would have been easier to locate the company close to a large urban centre. But that would be out of the question! We are comfortable with and proud of our geographical location and its comparative isolation .